Object Details

William the Conqueror's Stone

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Marina
Town:St. Leonards on Sea
Parish:Hastings
Council:Hastings Borough Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:TN38
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:At the roadside opposite the Undercliffe
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:127
Grid reference:H8
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
Previous location:St. Leonard's Gardens
Previous location:At the entrance to Hastings Pier (? sometime in the 1960s)

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Makers

Name : Unknown

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General Information

Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Hastings Borough Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:A slab of local sandstone that rests on a concrete plinth. A bronze plaque is fixed to a wooden support that sits on the stone. William the Conqueror is said to have used the slab as a table on landing in Sussex.
Inscription:On bronze plaque affixed to the top of the stone:

TRADITION SAYS THAT
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR
LANDED AT
BULVERHYTHE
AND DINED ON THIS
STONE

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Classification

Categories:Commemorative, Natural, Roadside / Wayside, Free Standing
Object type1:Marker
     Object subtype1:Commemorative stone
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Stone, including plinth
     Material:Local sandstone
     Height (cm):79.5
     Width (cm):305
     Depth (cm):193

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:24/05/2007

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History

History:William landed at Bulverhythe on 28 September 1066, building a fort in Hastings and engaging Harold Godwinson’s (c.1022–1066) armies seven miles north of Hastings on Senlac Hill, now the town of Battle on 14 October 1066. Harold was killed, it is said, by an arrow that struck him in the eye. The events of the day, subsequently known as The Battle of Hastings, are depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry.

This stone slab was also know as ‘Old Woman’s Tap’ or ‘Tapshaw / Tapshore’. It originally stood roughly at the bottom of Maze Hill and a spring / stream flowed over it (hence the name). It is possible that there, it was in the way of Burton’s development and he possibly invented the legend and moved it to be opposite the Royal Victoria Hotel on the seafront. A Hastings Guide of 1794, cited by J. Manwaring-Baines, states that the rock known as William the Conqueror's Table, was also known as 'Old Woman's Tap' and was in what is now known as St. Leonard's Gardens. A newspaper report from 1828 places the stone near the St. Leonard's Hotel. It was moved to near the entrance to the Pier some time in the 60s, perhaps in 1965/6, when the Triodome was erected on the Pier to house the newly-made Hastings Embroidery. At some later date it was moved back to St. Leonards seafront.

William landed at Pevensey (it was a big natural harbour where the levels are now, with an entrance from the sea roughly where Normans Bay is now) – there is proof of this from the trail of devastation recorded from Pevensey to Hastings in Domesday Book, as well as the Bayeux Tapestry and other records.
(Heather Grief, Hastings Local History Group)
Hard archive file:No

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:Burton's St. Leonards
     Type:Book
     Author:Baines, John Manwaring
     Date:00/00/1956
     Page:11, 20
     Publisher:Hastings Museum, Hastings.


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Photographs





Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 24/05/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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